Forty-nine years ago Wednesday night I was in jail. And my buddies were sharing a case of beer with jovial police officers in the station squad room.
That’s the price you pay for being a police reporter. No warrant. No crime. Just grab the guy and throw him into a cell. Big joke.
Fortunately the cell was single occupancy and a cheery place to work off a growing hangover.
I had a date in just a few hours at a nearby church, and appearance was mandatory. Or die.
The wedding went as planned, although some thought I was a tad too religious bowing my head through most of the ceremony. Let them try to get through a high Mass on a hot August morning. With a raging hangover.
The ceremony was well done because my marriage with Sharon has lasted until now.
I am sometimes asked the secret of our success. It is Sharon. She married a low-paid newspaper reporter and allowed him to stay in that profession and followed him around the world. Friends and associates all went to the big cities, became lawyers, investment bankers and other professions that drip with money.
There is value in exposing the ills of government, but the pay is limited.
It is to her that I credit the excellent work of raising two daughters.
These days it is Sharon who keeps me from making serious errors in news stories and being too silly. There is a great distance between San José and that dark jail cell in upstate New York. The trip has been wonderful.